Hip Scores


Well-Known Member
After receiving a very good hip score for one of my dogs I have no worries (on that front at least) about jumping her. However whilst I was waiting for the results I was asking myself "what score would I consider too bad to jump my dog". I wasn't sure :doghuh: .

I've heard some people say jumping a dog with poor hips helps strengthen them, and it's OK, but others suggest the onset of arthritis is quicker in these dogs that those that did not undertake such high impact work.

So...I'm really interested to know your opinions...what hip score you feel is too bad to jump a dog regularly e.g. in sports like agility or working trials (3ft clear, 6ft scale, 9ft long for dogs over 15")?


Experienced Member
Any dog with average or poor hips can be asymptomatic or severe, it depends on the dog. I would ask an orthopedic specialist about jumping. My Golden boy had bad elbows and I never jumped him. We did do agility but slow and a jump cross bar on the ground. Exercise is good and important as is diet and staying lean. If it were my dog I would consult and personally not jump a dog that was below good. The good dog i would only allow moderate small jumps, certainly not competition height. However, I really err on the conservative side after having those elbows operated on and seeing his pain. If it were me, there are so many other canine sports that are lower impact I would choose them or scale down unless they were excellent.

I also have orthopedic problems and it's very possible that overdoing a young asymptomatic dog will cause later arthritis and it's no fun.


New Member
I think it's great you had your dog certified by OFA. Not every breeder, and certainly not every owner does this.

Don't only be concerned about arthritis - depending on your dog's breed (larger dogs more prone), dysplasia in hips or elbows can be a problem and jumping in any form can cause permanent pain. Not to say hold them back, but certainly a caution when training and exercising.


Well-Known Member
Thank you both for your replies. I agree about consulting a specialist about exercises for dog with poor hip scores, and not being overly demanding on a dog regardless of a good hip score, particularly when they are young.

I think an OFA good hip score equates to a total of 5-10 in the BVA/KC system in use in the UK, thanks snooks :dogsmile:.